The nationwide ban on Juul e-cigarettes has reportedly triggered a run on tobacco shops as fans of the nicotine pods rush to stock up before the feds can enforce the edict.
Stores that sell the e-cigs were ordered to remove them from the shelves on Thursday after the Food and Drug Administration accused its parent company, Altria, of providing insufficient safety data.
That has prompted vapers to head to the store to see if they can get their hands on the pods before they’re pulled from shelves.
“I just went to buy some Juul pods out of curiosity, and the cashier told me I was the third person in the store this morning,” tweeted Alex Norcia.
“She said I could only buy four packs per transaction, but she could do as many transactions as I wanted.”
A Twitter user replied: “I’m hoping to pass through a duty free shop on my way home from Germany in an attempt to buy as many JUUL pods as I possibly can.”
Another Twitter user wrote that she was “earning my current housewife status by rushing over to the tobacco store nearby to clear them out of Juul pods for my husband.”
One Twitter user wrote that as he was leaving a liquor store “some kids asked me to buy them some Bud Lights and Juul pods.”
“Normally I wouldn’t do something like this, but it is pride month and I do consider myself an LGBTQI+ ally so I said f–k it and bought it for them,” the Twitter user wrote.
The device, which uses disposable pods, amounts to roughly 50% of the e-cigarette market. According to a Gallup survey last year, about 6% of US adults — or more than 15 million people — use e-cigarettes.
“[T]he company must stop selling and distributing these products. In addition, those currently on the U.S. market must be removed, or risk enforcement action,” the FDA said.
The decision is likely to enrage people who credit Juul with helping them stop or reduce smoking. But it may please the parents of teens who use Juuls because they lack the stench of combustible cigarettes, making detection harder.
“[T]he FDA determined that the applications lacked sufficient evidence regarding the toxicological profile of the products to demonstrate that marketing of the products would be appropriate for the protection of the public health,” the health agency said.
“In particular, some of the company’s study findings raised concerns due to insufficient and conflicting data – including regarding genotoxicity and potentially harmful chemicals leaching from the company’s proprietary e-liquid pods – that have not been adequately addressed and precluded the FDA from completing a full toxicological risk assessment of the products named in the company’s applications.”
In response, Juul said it believed it had “appropriately characterized the toxicological profile of Juul products” adding that it believes its e-cigarettes meet federal health and safety standards.
“We intend to seek a stay and are exploring all of our options under the FDA’s regulations and the law, including appealing the decision and engaging with our regulator,” Juul’s chief regulatory officer Joe Murillo said in a statement.
“We remain committed to doing all in our power to continue serving the millions of American adult smokers who have successfully used our products to transition away from combustible cigarettes, which remain available on market shelves nationwide.”
In response to a briefing question Wednesday from The Post, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on President Biden’s involvement in the then-looming decision and referred questions to the FDA.